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Question DetailsAsked on 10/21/2015

Using 4 inch dura wire while laying brick

We are planning on creating a window opening in an exterior brick veneer wall to allow more light into our family room.

It is my understanding that when the steel lentil is place above the new window opening, 3 rows of brick above the opening should have 4 inch dura wire placed between them to provide strength which prevents cracking of bricks above and around . However, the brick contractor insists that is not needed. One reason, is the gap between the bricks is too small for the wire and may create an inconsistent appearance.

My question:
Is the dura not needed for a job like this?

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There are two types of lintels - flat plate which basically serves as a form to put the bricks in over it and hold their weight till the mortar dries (typically 1/8 or 3/16" steel), and "strong back" or "structural" lintels, which are commonly channel structural steel more like 1/4" thick and are designed to carry the bricks and to carry the structural load coming down to the opening.


If using the second type, which will almost always bear on similar structural steel channel (open side of the "C" shape toward the brick, flat side to opening) at the side and bottom of the opening to transfer the load around the opening, or be heavier built and extend several feet to each side of opening to "bridge" the opening, then eliminating the mesh would be normal - and is more common, in my experience, for a retrofit (as opposed to new construction or complete rebricking job).


If the overlying brick is properly and substantially temporarily supported during the installation, a good contractor can get the structural steel supports into place without removing any brick or perhaps only the row right above the window opening, though requires some substantial shoring and drilling some shoring support pin holes in the grout joints (which are later patched).

Answered 4 years ago by LCD




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